More than a dozen of the greatest names in country music come together to celebrate the gospel classics that are a staple of the Grand Ole Opry on “How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From The Grand Ole Opry,” releasing February 5.
What makes the album special is not just the play list of songs but also the voices that give them life.
Recorded live at the legendary music venue in Nashville, Tennessee, the album includes songs from stars like Loretta Lynn (“Where No One Stands Alone”), Ronnie Milsap (“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”), Alan Jackson (“Blessed Assurance”), Brad Paisley (“The Old Rugged Cross”), Carrie Underwood (“How Great Thou Art”), Trace Adkins (“Wayfaring Stranger”), Patty Loveless (“Precious Memories”), Sara Evans (“Just A Closer Walk With Thee”), Vince Gill (“Give Me Jesus”), and a duet with the Charlie Daniels Band and Third Day’s Mac Powell (a somewhat frenetically paced “I’ll Fly Away”).
If you’re a fan of country music—real country, not crossover pop—this album is a must have. A little twang, soaring harmonies, and some steel guitar are what make songs like “A House of Gold” (Dierks Bentley) and “Family Bible” (Ricky Skaggs and The Whites) classic country gospel. And even if you’re just a casual listener of country (like when you’re forced to listen while riding in your husband’s truck), there’s something about this album that will pull at your heartstrings.
I’ve never actually been in the Grand Ole Opry (unless you count being backstage in the press room during the Dove Awards, in which case then I’ve seen that room—and the bathrooms) but as I listened, I felt like the ghosts of legends long gone joined their voices on this moving tribute to a historic venue that has a place in the hearts of music fans of all ages.
–written by Joanne Brokaw